Is Sweet Potato A Fruit Or Not? Here’s Your Answer

Is sweet potato a fruit? The answer is no; still, there is a continuous debate over whether sweet potatoes are classified as a fruit or a vegetable. 

Botanically, sweet potatoes are considered starchy tubers and are closely related to morning glory plants. However, they are often used more like vegetables in cooking. 

In this guide, you’ll learn more about sweet potato and be able to tell if it’s truly a fruit or not.

What is sweet potato?

Sweet potatoes are a species of morning glory native to tropical regions. They are starchy, sweet-tasting root vegetables that can be cooked in many different ways.

Some common types of sweet potatoes are purple sweet potato, jewel, heart of gold, and cilembu sweet potato.

Overall, it is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and is rich in fiber.

Is sweet potato a fruit?

No, it isn’t. It belongs to the vegetable group. The scientific definition of a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering. Sweet potatoes do not produce seeds, so they can’t technically be classified as fruits.

On the other hand, sweet potato is a tuber and is part of the starchy vegetables food group. Other tubers include yams, white potatoes, and taro.  

However, some people consider sweet potatoes to be a type of fruit because they are often used in desserts and have a sweet taste. In general, though, sweet potatoes are considered to be vegetables.

Differences between a fruit and a vegetable

  • A fruit is the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seeds and can be eaten as food.
  • A vegetable is any edible part of a plant that is not a fruit, including leaves, stems, roots, bulbs, flowers, and seeds.
  • Fruits are typically high in sugar and calories, while vegetables are generally low in both.
  • Fruits are often eaten as snacks or desserts, while vegetables are more likely to be consumed as part of a meal.
  • Fruits typically have a higher vitamin and mineral content than some vegetables.

SEE: How To Tell If Potatoes Are Done Boiling

Is sweet potato a fruit or carb?

They are carbs, not fruits. Sweet potatoes are often classified as starchy vegetables, but they can also be considered low-glycemic index (GI) carbs. 

This means that they have a relatively low impact on blood sugar levels. They are a good source of carbohydrates and are higher in calories than non-starchy vegetables. But they also contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 

So, if you are trying to limit your intake of high-GI foods, then you might consider sweet potatoes to be more of a “healthy carb” than a “fruit.”

Are sweet potatoes the same as regular potatoes?

No, sweet potatoes are not the same as regular potatoes. Here’s why:

  • Sweet potatoes are a type of tuber that belongs to the morning glory family; meanwhile, regular potatoes are a type of starchy tuber that belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. 
  • Sweet potatoes are a type of starchy root vegetable that is sweeter than regular potatoes, and they have a thinner, smoother skin. 
  • They come in various colors, including white, yellow, orange, and red, while regular potatoes only come in white or brown. 
  • Sweet potatoes are often used in pies, casseroles, and other dishes where their sweetness is the desired flavor. Regular potatoes, on the other hand, are usually used in savory dishes such as roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, and potato chips. 

Finally, both kinds of potatoes can be roasted, baked, or boiled, as the recipe demands.

SEE: Discover the Differences Between Yellow Potatoes and Yukon Gold

Sweet potato vs yam 

There are a few key differences between sweet potatoes and yams. First, sweet potatoes are more starchy than yams. They also have thinner skin and are often lighter in color.

Yams are also generally larger and sweeter than sweet potatoes. They have thick, scaly skin and come in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, purple, and red. Like sweet potatoes, yams are a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C.

Finally, sweet potatoes are native to the Americas, while yams come from Africa.

So which is better? Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Both sweet potatoes and yams are nutritious and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Try them both and see which you like best.

Benefits of sweet potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber, which can help to keep you regular and promote healthy digestion.
  • They’re also a good source of vitamins A and C, both of which are important for maintaining healthy skin and eyesight.
  • Sweet potatoes are a low-glycemic food, meaning they won’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels, making them a good choice for people with diabetes or those trying to maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.
  • Sweet potatoes are also a good source of potassium, which is essential for proper muscle function and heart health.
  • Including sweet potatoes in your diet may help to lower your risk of certain types of cancer, such as ovarian and colon cancer.
  • Sweet potatoes are also a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Eating sweet potatoes may also help to improve your immune system function.
  • Sweet potatoes are a nutritious food that can be enjoyed in many different ways. They can be baked, roasted, mashed, or even made into chips or fries.
  • Sweet potatoes are a healthy addition to any diet, and they’re especially beneficial for people trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Including sweet potatoes in your regular diet may help you reach and maintain your optimal health.

SEE: Get Discounted Potato Olés During Taco John’s Breakfast Hours

Uses of sweet potato

Sweet potatoes can be used in various dishes, both savory and sweet. They can be baked, boiled, fried, or roasted. Also, they can be used to make soup, bread, and pies or as a replacement for white potatoes.

These veggies can be made into chips, fritters, or pancakes. You can also use them as a natural sweetener in baking or cooking and puree them to make baby food.

Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, and manganese. They are also low in calories and fat. When buying sweet potatoes, look for ones that are firm and have smooth skin.

SEE: Can You Freeze Baked Potatoes to Preserve Them Longer?

FAQs

Can you eat raw sweet potato?

Yes, you can eat raw sweet potatoes. Sweet potato is a healthy root vegetable that is packed with nutrients.

While sweet potato can be cooked in many different ways, eating it raw is a great way to get the most out of its nutritional benefits. 

Raw sweet potato is also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals but can lead to gas and bloating.

Is sweet potato a vegetable or a starch?

It is a starchy vegetable. Also, it is rich in carbs, fiber, and antioxidants.

Is sweet potato high in sugar?

No, sweet potatoes are not high in sugar. They are a low-glycemic food, meaning they don’t raise your blood sugar levels as much as other foods.

Conclusion

Now you can see why sweet potato is actually not a fruit but a vegetable. It doesn’t have the seed-bearing structure that fruits have, and it doesn’t develop from the ovary of a flower.

So the next time you’re in the grocery store, be sure to pick sweet potato in the veggie aisle!

Thank you for reading.

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